|red wall with grass|
|ice plant of some sort|
I just wanted to thank you for this post from last week. It was so much in line with what I have experienced in the last couple of years! These are just a few of the ideas that REALLY resonate with me:
- The first thing to note is that the "Little Way" does not refer, or does not refer exclusively, to the habit of doing "little" things for God. It refers instead to her realization that she was not strong enough, noble enough, or spiritually advanced enough to lift herself up to God. Using the metaphor of a "Divine Elevator," God would lift Him up to her.
- Again, her genius lies in integrating the psychological and the spiritual. Because continuing the theme that the chief characteristic of God is non-violence, she realized that to try, to strain, to generate love for people, many of whom we don't remotely like, is a form of violence.
- She began to realize that our love for God isn't something we manufacture on our own and "give" to God. She realized God first loves us, then we love Him. We love God by letting Him love us, not by "working" at love.
- Then we walk away from all arithmetic and ledger-keeping in our spiritual life and abandon any tendency toward perfectionism or willfulness;...
"Merit does not consist in doing or giving much, but rather in receiving, in loving much...When Jesus wills to take for Himself the sweetness of giving, it would not be gracious to refuse."
"What offends Jesus, what wounds him to the heart, is our lack of confidence. You can never have too much confidence in God, who is so powerful and so merciful. You receive from God as much as you hope for"...
All of that “outward” motion, that striving, and giving was a symptom of my inability to sit still with myself. It all came crashing down, and I realized that that kind of effort was completely useless. I didn’t have to think about it. It was just a reality. The scales had fallen from my eyes. I could no longer strive for him in the way that I used to because I could now see how totally useless it was. What replaced it was a strange and new experience of sitting with myself with God. Don’t move, just sit! Just BE! With me.
It’s a more “feminine” way of being. Most of what we are fed, I would say, is an emphatically masculine way of being. Giving and receiving are both important. You cannot have one without the other. It’s a fundamental paradox of life. But what we hear mostly about is giving. It’s the assumed answer to everything. Heck, even JPII said it (quoting VII), “Man finds himself in the sincere gift of himself.” As I said, this is certainly true. But it is not the WHOLE truth. And people will not be ABLE to give themselves if they do not know how to receive themselves (and others). I think that all the great givers (the saints) have also been great receivers. But the receiving has been sort of hidden for most of them. St. Therese is a notable exception. She was acutely aware that she was receiving. And she knew how important it was to receive well. This is why she is so important for the Church today.
Anyway, just wanted to share this with you and thank you again for writing the things that you do. Some days it feels like an cool oasis in the desert!
|berries, unfortunately inedible|